On Wednesday, troubling allegations surfaced involving embattled MSNBC host Joy Reid surrounding her decision to hire a cybersecurity expert: the man Reid hired allegedly bragged about his affiliations with neo-Nazis in online posts.
Jonathan Nichols, the man Reid hired, was tasked with proving that Reid did not write numerous homophobic and bigoted blog posts on her now-defunct blog. However, investigative reporters at Mediaite, the outlet that first revealed Reid’s posts, discovered today that Nichols bragged about his affiliations with neo-Nazis before locking down his social media accounts.
After NBC released a its statement regarding his work for Reid, however, Nichols deleted all of his account’s old posts, went on a tweetstorm declaring a “lock down” of his account, and then placed it on protected mode so non-followers could not see his tweets.
Using the Internet archiving services Archive.is and the Wayback Machine, Mediaite discovered a series of Nichols’ old tweets in which be brags about knowing the infamous neo-Nazi troll Andrew Auernheimer, who is more commonly known by his hacker name weev.
“Like are most of you aware that I NOT ONLY know Andrew (stromfront admin), but I was the principal element livetweeting his release from [prison],” tweeted Nichols on December 9, 2017, according to online records obtained by Mediaite. “If you try REALLY HARD you’ll see that I’m connected to the leadership of [Stormfront]. If you try just a bit harder you’ll figure it out.”
As Mediaite notes, “It is worth noting that weev is not an administrator for Stormfront, but is instead the webmaster for The Daily Stormer — the biggest Nazi site in America.”
Nichols also bragged about hanging out with weev, writing that he attended “Weev’s coming home party” after he was released from prison.
Like Reid, Nichols is a conspiracy theorist, who, according to Mediaite, believed in left-wing politics and bought into conspiracies that the 2016 presidential election was “literally rigged FOR [Trump].”
WikiLeaks, which is not always a reliable resource, chimed in on the issue, too, noting on Twitter that on Nichols’ LinkedIn account, he “lists his first background expertise as ‘military propaganda.'”